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Newbie with CC

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Been lurking here for sometime, reading and being encouraged by all the great posts of survival. I am 36 years old and I was diagnosed with colon cancer on August 14th, one day after our 13th wedding anniversary.

Symptoms leading up to my colonoscopy were, change in bowel movements, anemia, weight loss and lack of energy. Two tumors were found with a 80% block of my colon. No PET/CT were ordered, all docs involved believed the cancer was just in the colon.

On August 20th, I had a double bowel resection surgery. 19cm of my colon and 9 cm of my small intestine were removed. The larger of the 2 tumors had grown outside the colon and was against the small intestine.

The path result on the sections removed showed the margins clean but out of the 18 nodes sampled, all were positive for cancer. Now I am a stage 3 patient, pending the now scheduled CT/PET scan.

All sorts of emotions have been and still are running through my head. It seens to be a roller coaster, feeling every emotion the human body can feel.

My PET was done this past Monday and my wife and I went in for the results yesterday. I have 3 suspicious lesions in my liver. They are very small and my Onc cant tell if they are cancer or not. I also have 3 swollen nodes that he is not too worried about.

I am scheduled for a MRI on Monday to see the exact size and if they are tumors or just cell activity.

Again, the roller coaster starts, I like them but....can I just stop this ride and get off? I am doing my best to keep a postivie outlook, facing the biggest trial of my life.

My port is being put in on Oct 2 and my chemo treatment is not finalized yet penting the outcome of the MRI. If it remains a stage 3, I have been told 6 months of "folfox" is in my future. And if it is classified as a stage 4, another drug will be added.

And let me say, I am a Christian and our faith in God has got us this far. I know nothing happens without a reason. Sometimes it is just hard to deal with on a human level....

jerseysue's picture
jerseysue
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

Sorry about your cancer the news always stinks. You sound positive and I think that is much of the battle. Lots of luck with your chemo and keep us posted. The port wasn't a big deal but it was sore for a few days nothing a pain pill didn't take care of.

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks Sue!

I am trying to stay positive, but I do have my moments. I just want to get my treatments started.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

I agree with Sue.....attitude is a large part of the process. Faith is too,....faith in your treatment team, in your body, in the greater good.

I, too, have 3 'spots' on my liver. They have been CT'd, ultrasounded, even examined during my resection....not cancer, just cysts...lol! I like to judge the efficacy of the scan as to whether the spots are reported...I know they are still there!

BTW, congrats on the anniversary! If things get tough, remember the celebration you had!

One of my big encouraging things was to think of something special to do AFTER the treatment...I went to a spa in Palm Springs...I could focus on that during hospital stays, and bowel obstructions (I just had my 7th partial last night...water and walking clears them for me!).

Hugs, Kathi

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks for the encouragement.

We already have a few things planned, trips, etc. I am just ready to get started and hopefully our lives will be as normal as possible durning treatment.

My wife is the lite of this world. During this last few weeks of wirlwind activity, she has been a real trooper. I could not imagine going through this without her.

rmap59
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

Dear vman,
It really sent cold chills over me because I remember how I felt when all this started. I was dx stage 3 rectal, had a bowel resection in May, radiation and chemo for 6 weeks after and now chemo daily with infusions every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. It is a tough road but my faith in our creator has been my rock. My family and friends have also been great. I will be praying for you and wish you the very best. This is a great place to come and just listen or ask questions. If I can help you or your wife just email me. Prayers to you, Robin

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Robin,

Thanks for the prayers, I can honestly tell you that my wife and I feel every one of them. It is a feeling that just cannot be described.

I am learing alot just by reading the posts hear and I pray that I am here a Long time to offer help to ofhers facing what I am today.

I know that God will see us boh through this trial.

Kevin

hopefulone
Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Sorry your going through this journey too, but I hope it helps somewhat to know that there is a great support team here. We all know how difficult it is waiting for results and the unknown just increases anxiety. Hang in there, your attitude will go a long way in making this a smoother journey for you. Be sure that you question your doc's thoroughly and if the lesions turn out to be mets that you explore and research all options.The drugs given today are much more advanced than they were five or ten years ago. My hubby stage IV with mets. Liver resection now possible in 3 weeks due to chemo with avastin (which may be the drug they are thinking of adding to your folfox). The spots you have may very well be cysts, or they may even disappear totally with chemo like some others here. Like you, our faith in God has kept us going and kept us positive.God Bless and Good Luck and keep us posted.

Diane

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

In just a few weeks of coming here, I can see the caring that is show here on this forum.

Being an advid motorcycle rider(I actually went for my 1st ride today in 10 weeks!), I am a part of many forums that have show alot of caring. Here, most all know exactly what my wife and I are both feeling, because they have been there.

Whatever my journey holds, I will continue to stay positive and continue to be as much of a part of helping here when I can.

And Avastin is the drug that will more than likely be added. With my age and health, and with God nothing is impossible!

Kevin

KierstenRx's picture
KierstenRx
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Welcome officially to our group. This message board has helped me to survive this past year. I am a stage III rectal cancer patient. Diagnosed last September (at 32), radiation and chemo, surgery in February, followed by 4 months chemo. Was finally declared NED last week from my PET/CT scans. That being said I had a "very scary tumor" according to my oncologist. He brought out the "big guns" to treat me. I was on FOLFOX and Avastin. Avastin is normally given to metastatic CC, but is being studied in lesser stages. I know you are on an awful ride right now, but your faith and trust will get you through. There are so many people on this board that have done so well being stage III or IV. I am inspired by them everyday. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. It has made me a better person, wife, friend, pharmacist, and brought me even closer to God. Believe me I still have my ups and downs.
As for the port, you will love it. So much better than destroying your veins. The chemo does produce some side effects, but most are tolerable. You always have us to ask questions or vent to.
I will keep you in prayers, that you MRI and treatment are successful

Kiersten

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks for the welcome! I have already felt a warm welcome here. I am inspired as well by reading the survival stories, it has made my last few weeks more bareable.

It is still kinda shocking to be like you young and having cancer. I will add you to our prayer list as well.

Kevin

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hey vman...
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I'm a stage 4 survivor and well remember the roller coaster of surgery, scans, and biopsies at the time of my diagnosis in August 2004. It is so hard waiting for the results.
I did have liver tumours which were surgically resectioned. Two rounds of chemo so far.
Your faith in God and your supportive loving relationships will serve you well in the journey ahead. This board will help you to know that you are not alone in what you are going through. Here you will find pro-active survivors who take an "empowered" approach towards cancer treatment and self-care. You'll get good support here based on what folks have experienced.
I've journalled some of my experiences... you'll find me at www.rob-pollock.blogspot.com. If you look back through the past couple of months you may find a few posts which relate to what you are going through.
You're in my thoughts and prayers...
Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver.

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Rob,

Thanks for the link to the blog. I will have to check it out.

Thanks for the prayers my friend.

Kevin

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

hi kevin,
sorry to hear what you are going thru.
i was stage 11 in may 04. bowel was blocked, emergency surgery, had a temp bag.6 months of 5fu and leuv. had colon resection. as of now ned. i found this site while in the hospital, it has been a God sent. i would say the biggest thing that got me thru this so far is a positive attitude and the man upstairs. keep up the attitude, keep the faith, know we are here for you and your wife.
be well
never,ever give up!!
bruce

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks Bruce!

I already have the mind set to never give up.

Patti1
Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2006

Hello Vman,

I am so sorry that you have to go down this path. My husband age 59 now now was diagnosed 1/5/06 with STage IV Colorectal Cancer with Met to his Liver. After 4 months of chemo on 8/13/06 he underwent a complete lower resection with rectum removal and a liver resection also. After surgery he had more chemo and radiation treatments. TOday 14 months later he is still NED. Dennis was treated with Folfox and Avastin prior to surgery and irinotecan and Xeloda after surgery. Keep the Faith. We are avid MOTORCYCLE riders also and just returned from our 1st vacation since our journey began, and it was in the Smokies on the motorcycle. November off to the Keys.No matter what just keep that chin up and smile.Please feel free to email me anytime with any questions, or just someone to talk to.

Patti

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Patti,

Thanks for the kind words. I live in WNC, what part of the smokies did you all go to?

I actually rode today for the 1st time in 10 weeks. What a feeling!

Next time you are in the area drop us a line...

Kevin

Limey's picture
Limey
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

hey vman, glad you found us, sorry for the reason you found us. Two things you will find on this board are hope and support. I have been fighting this beast going on 4 years now. Attitude makes a difference. My mom (a short but wise old irishwoman) has always said that you can't change yesterday - it has already happend, you can't choose tommorw for it hasen't come yet, but you can have today. It is yours to make of it as you like. even on a crappy day, there is some sunshine, you gotta choose to focus on that. Folfox was short of a walk in the park but I like many many here have made it to the other side of that. share your struggles, I promise you someone will be able to help you get through them. Best of luck and start drinking more water.
Mark.

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Mark,

I am so glad to have been pointed here. When I feel like I have reached the end of the rope, I come here and read stories of survival and it gives me hope.

I pray that tomorrows MRI does ot show anything in my liver, I know God can do that....

Kevin

claud1951's picture
claud1951
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi there newbie!!>>grin>>

Glad you are here but sorry for the circumstances.

I am 56 and Stage III colon, also but I did not have any nets to the liver. And the best part...I only have 2 more chemo treatments left!! Yeah...

This is the hardest part for you is the waiting and not knowing what is going to happen. Once you start Chemo, even thought chemo is not the best thing, at least that first one will be over.

Some people's side effects are different than others. Once you know what your chemo is, let us know and we can tell you the different effects it can bring...Again..some of us have them, some of us don't.

One thing to remember is to use your energy for moving forward and not looking back. You'll need that energy. Keep a good attitude (as everyone is telling you).

For me, the road hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be and specially since I found this site. It's great. You learn alot. Don't go looking around the internet. Scary!!

The port is a good thing. Yes, it hurts for a few days but you'll be glad you got it.

With you and your good support, to beat the beast, you are on your way!

My best to you and your family
Claudia

vman1300
Posts: 80
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks Claudia!

I just left the onc and I am now a stage IV w/mets to my liver.

I start folfox with avastin on Oct 5.

This is all just a shock right now....

Kevin

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